Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Partner

Cisco Partners Poised to Cash in on Line of Business Selling

The way we sell to customers continues to evolve. What works for a while may not be effective in a year or two because the market and buyers are continually changing. Back when I first started in sales many moons ago, the small regional company I worked for didn’t leverage any type of formal selling model. We were encouraged to personalize our sales approach, build relationships with customers and continually build pipeline. While these things are still important, they may not be enough to sustain your business. Understanding the various sales methodologies and applying those models that fit the maturity of your particular local market is critical for your long term success.

The first methodology I was able to leverage was Solution Selling in the mid 1990’s. With Solution Selling, the salesperson focuses on the customer’s pain(s) and addresses those pains with his or her offerings (product and services). The resolution of the pain is what constitutes a “solution”. Typically, we would focus on taking a “latent pain” (something that was always in the back of the customers’ mind) and create a sense of urgency around it. Since I was selling IT services, my questions and solutions were designed for IT Buyers. This worked very well for a few years as I was selling a limited set of solutions.

With Cisco in the mid 2000’s, we were focused on solution selling but it became a challenge as more and more of our products were designed to work together. We needed a selling methodology that would put our products and services into a much broader context for our customers.  We moved to an Architectural Selling Model. Instead of solving for specific business problems, the architectural seller looks for opportunities to change and improve entire customer business functions by creatively applying their products and services.  Here, an architectural seller from Cisco would look to determine how a large investment in Collaboration hardware, software and services can help clients improve the effectiveness and efficiency of how they collaborate, increase productivity and lower their total cost of ownership, accelerate time to market and increase revenue growth, improve customer satisfaction and generate new ideas. Typically this type of selling is directed towards IT buyers as well and results in much larger deal sizes. Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 22, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

I might have ended my coverage of Partner Summit last week, but Rick Snyder posted a great look back at this year’s event in Montreal. Rick provided some insight on just how “Being Bold” inspired some of Cisco’s moves at Partner Summit.

Be sure to check out Rick’s recap and let us know what you think!

New SmartPlay Select Program

Great blog this week from Jeremy Foster on the new SmartPlay Select Program. Want to know how it can help you as a Cisco partner? Check out Jeremy’s blog to learn just how the new program works and to get information on a couple of other ongoing SmartPlay programs as well. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Closing UCS Business Quick & Easy with the NEW SmartPlay Select Program

Cisco launched the original SmartPlay program in 2010. Since then our partners have seen tremendous momentum from special Unified Computing System (UCS) bundled offers. It has been the ‘go to’ program for our partners to accelerate the sales cycle into new & existing UCS accounts, and it was the catalyst for our online build and price tool that went live in 2011. Now we are continuing to evolve the program to meet the needs of the market with the new SmartPlay Select Program.

Partners spoke. We listened.

We spent a lot of time talking to partners, customers and the Cisco field teams to understand what worked and where we could improve the SmartPlay program. We heard you loud and clear that you needed more flexibility and greater partner protection in your deals.  You needed out of the box memory installs and greater quantities so you could scale.  We get it, and we are delivering.

From your feedback, we’ve made many improvements to the program:

  • The elimination of pre-configured bundles gives you the flexibility to build the perfect “Select” bundle based on your customer’s needs – now you can build-your-own-bundles
  • Partner protection was added to ALL SmartPlay Select offers via Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), Teaming Incentive Program (TIP), and New Account Breakaway (NAB) for Cisco UCS – across all offers
  • Cisco ONE Foundation for compute included with each Server
  • Quantity limitations were greatly increased- buy up to 50 servers!
  • Memory options are now factory integrated in the SmartPlay Select server of your choice;
  • Try & Buy eligibility
  • We’ve expanded the choices of SmartNet [LINK] offerings available

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Making Bold Moves at Partner Summit 2015

‘Be Bold’ was the theme of this year’s Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal, and our keynote speakers made a compelling case for bold new approaches in a fast-evolving landscape.

From John Chambers’ arresting “Disrupt or be Disrupted” opening keynote, to Chuck Robbins’ closing session declaration that “business rules have changed” there was a clear message throughout the event: Partners need to embrace new thinking and new alliances, not just for survival, but because the rewards could be huge!

The Cisco Partner Ecosystem is truly matchless, and we’re all aligned behind a future-focused strategy.  When you bring the power of Cisco’s portfolio and traditional partner expertise together with agile, outcome-focused Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) you enable end-to-end business solutions that totally change the game.  We saw great examples of this in the Internet of Everything session and in the case studies that Denny Trevett and Beth McRae brought to life in the “Winning Together with ISVs in the Cisco Partner Ecosystem” session.

During PS15, we organised a wide range of activities and briefings to foster new connections and innovations.   Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 15, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Earlier this week, Richard McLeod took a look at the collaboration offers from Partner Summit 2015. He provided everything you need to know about the latest and greatest promotions from the collaboration team. I encourage you to read his blog and let us know what you think!

Introducing Cisco Refresh

Alastair Borissow joined the Cisco Partner Blog for the first time this week. Please welcome him to our great group of bloggers.

Alastair was on hand this week to talk about the evolution of the Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment program into the new Cisco Refresh.

Reset Your Sales Focus to Gain the Biggest Returns

Long time guest blogger Karin Surber brought her expertise back to the Partner Blog this week as well. In her ongoing series on success in sales organizations, she took a look at how to re-energize your sales team and keep them on top of the latest trends.

She also included some videos that are definitely worth a quick look as they show how that approach translates into closed deals. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,